Priests stage fast in front of Cardinal’s residence

Over 100 priests from the Syro-Malabar Archdiocese of Ernakulam-Angamaly have begun a fast in front of Cardinal and Major Archbishop George Alencherry’s residence in the city to reiterate their demand that the archdiocese be allowed to continue with the tradition of fully congregation-facing Mass and to be given permanent exemption from a directive of the Synod of Bishops in August last year to celebrate the Mass with the celebrant (priest) facing the congregation for the first half of the Mass and facing away from the congregation for the second half.

A member of the Athirupatha Samrakshana Samithi (forum of priests for protection of the archdiocese) said there were around 350 priests, who wanted participate in the protest but in view of the the COVID-19 protocol, nearly 100 of them were participating in the protest.

The day-long fast was organised even as the 30th Synod of Bishops of the Syro-Malabar Church is in progress at the church headquarters at Mount St. Thomas, Kakkanad in the city. The community of priests had earlier submitted a memorandum to the Synod, requesting that the archdiocese be given permanent exemption from the Synodal decision of August last year.

The 30th Synod, which began on January 7, will conclude on January 15 and the community of priests requested the Bishops to consider the occasion as an opportunity to reconcile the differences of opinion on the celebration of the Mass.

Meanwhile, Almaya Munnettam, a collective of lay people in the archdiocese, has said it will take out a march to the archdiocesan headquarters demanding, among things, the resignation of Cardinal and Major Archbishop George Alencherry, head of the Syro-Malabar Church. A spokesman for the group, calling for more transparency in church administration, demanded that the fully congregation-facing Mass should be allowed in the archdiocese and that the Cardinal was using the issue of Mass celebration to camouflage other issues.

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Printable version | Jan 28, 2022 3:19:12 AM |

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